There's something that's just not natural about noon baseball, but here we are on Wednesday afternoon, with the Orioles playing the rubber game of a series against the Rays at this hour.
If you're stuck at work and unable to watch this particular contest, that may actually be better for you. Ubaldo Jimenez is pitching. Well, there's always a chance it won't be horrible today. The most maddening thing about Jimenez is that you know those great outings are locked up in there somewhere. They just seldom surface. There's not much reason to believe today will be the day.
The loss on Tuesday night has sent the Orioles to 4.5 games back of a wild card spot. They must pass six teams. If they are going to do this, they must eventually win more road games than they have been. They're just 18-31 on the road for the season so far.
Why are they so bad on the road? True, only the greatest baseball teams find real success on the road, but for the most part, only the worst fail as much on the road as the Orioles do.
There are four games to play, including this one, until the trade deadline. The Orioles must win them all to be .500 at the deadline. Anyone, including Dan Duquette, who wants to believe the Orioles have a chance needs to remember that as things stand right now, 40% of all remaining Orioles games will be started by Jimenez or Wade Miley.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||TAMPA BAY RAYS|
|Adam Jones - CF||Mallex Smith - CF|
|Manny Machado - 3B||Corey Dickerson - LF|
|Jonathan Schoop - 2B||Evan Longoria - 3B|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Logan Morrison - 1B|
|Mark Trumbo - DH||Steven Souza - RF|
|Trey Mancini - LF||Brad Miller - DH|
|Seth Smith - RF||Wilson Ramos - C|
|Caleb Joseph - C||Tim Beckham - 2B|
|Ruben Tejada - SS||Adeiny Hechavarria - SS|
|Ubaldo Jimenez - RHP||Alex Cobb - RHP|